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Today's Reminder

June 25, 2021 | Dhuʻl-Qiʻdah 15, 1442

Living The Quran

Spouse and Children
Al-Taghabun (Loss and Gain) Chapter 64: Verse 14

"O you who believe! Among your spouses and children there may be enemies for you, so beware of them. Yet, if you pardon, forbear, and forgive, then God is All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate."

Love of family may sometimes bar a person from his or her religious duties or cause him or her to indulge the family excessively or to work for the children and their future without considering the children's duties towards God and their afterlife, whereas true love necessitates the parents should first consider the afterlife and the religious duties of their children. They should consider their worldly welfare within the framework of Religion.

This verse draws the attention of spouses to this fact and warns them. However, parents should be careful, patient, and tolerant in their mutual relations and in their approach to the conduct of their children. They should be forbearing and pardon their mutual faults towards each other and the faults of their children towards themselves. They should also overlook any faults concerning worldly matters and be able to act as educators concerning religious matters.

Compiled From:
"The Quran: Annotated Interpretation in Modern English" - Ali Unal, p. 1146

From Issue: 599 [Read original issue]

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Backbone of the Umma

Kibr or pride represents the antithesis of humility and is a devastating moral ailment. The efforts which we make for tazkiya (purification), it is hoped, will make us successful. But if one is successful, the greatest cancer that can eat everything away, is Kibr. The Messenger of Allah said:

"No one will be admitted into Paradise who has even a tiny grain of pride in his heart." A man asked him: "But what if someone likes to dress well and put on good sandals?" He replied: "Truly Allah is beautiful, and He loves beauty. Pride is to disdain the truth, and to belittle and despise other people." (Muslim.)

Know that the ideal for you to emulate is the uswa of the Prophet. His example is so high and exalted. One of the reasons the 'ideal' standard is so high, is to ensure that we always strive to better ourselves. If the ideal is easily reachable, then once a person has attained it, he will feel content, and contentment will set him off on a downward slide. Because our ideal is high, we are always in a state of aspiration. We are perpetually in a state of effort, striving and spiritual development. Should Kibr arise in this state, it can only be an act of Shaytan, who is there just to test whatever one has achieved in the field of knowledge or action. Kibr will destroy whatever you have achieved, so protect yourself against it. Remember that it comes in very attractive, very concealed and very deceptive channels and forms. So, be ever vigilant.

You should thus strive to become like one who doggedly keeps on working for the cause of Allah. You may not necessarily read details of him in newspaper columns, nor does he appear on television screens, nor does he win applause by making beautiful speeches in large gatherings and commendations for writing good pieces. He is not plagued by doubts. He does not waver in the face of defeat and failure. He does not calculate the chances of success but he knows very well that the only chance of success for him is to do his duty, and do it to the best of his ability. He is the backbone of the Islamic work and the Muslim Umma.

Compiled From:
"In The Early Hours" - Khurram Murad, pp. 75, 76

From Issue: 825 [Read original issue]

Blindspot!

Self-Criticism

According to the Quran and the prophetic tradition, the default feeling of a believer should not be self-righteousness. This is what the Prophet taught his Companions. Hudhaifa, one of the Prophet's Companions, had knowledge about the names of the ten hypocrites of Medina who were unknown to the other Companions. Umar b. al-Khattab used to ask Hudhaifa if his name was among the ten hypocrites! Why did Umar ask Hudhaifa this question? Clearly, he did this because he did not feel self-righteous at all. In fact, it shows a high level of self-criticism that is rare to find.

Abu Bakr al-Siddiq used to say: "I would not feel safe from God's deep devising even if one of my feet was in Paradise." Why did Abu Bakr say this? Because he thought that he does not deserve Paradise as a guaranteed reward from God. This is Abu Bakr, about whom Umar said: "If the faith of Abu Bakr is put on one side of the scale and the faith of the nation of believers is put on the other side, the side of Abu Bakr will outweigh the other side."

A feeling of self-righteousness is the origin of all sins. If one feels self-righteous and thinks that he has secured an exclusive or special status, surely he will start to feel that he cannot make mistakes. But if you fear God and think that you are the least of the believers, you will avoid committing evil deeds. The sense of self-righteousness is the origin of every forbidden lust of arrogance, miserliness, greed, extravagance, and so forth. If we avoid this feeling, we will keep away from falling into these lusts. This was the practice of the prophets, messengers, and righteous people.

However, the virtue of self-criticism should not turn into self-destruction. Self-destruction happens when a person blames himself so harshly that he begins to feel desperate. For example, if a person continues to tell himself that he is no good, he has never done a sincere good deed, and so forth, he will eventually feel hopeless and abandon everything. This course of action is unacceptable. Moderation and balance are virtues that lie between two vices; blaming oneself until one feels desperate and not blaming oneself at all until one becomes conceited. With moderation, our inner self will improve and we will advance in the course of our spiritual journey to God.

Compiled From:
"A Journey to God: Reflections on the Hikam of Ibn Ataillah" - Jasser Auda

From Issue: 969 [Read original issue]